Marijuana: The legalization

Their Side:

After the sustaining vote in November of 1996 and coming into effect the beginning of this year,
marijuana is now legal to medical patients in California and Arizona. Proposition 215 reads as follows:
The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the
Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:
(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for
medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who
has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of
cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for
which marijuana provides relief.
(B) To ensure that patients and their primary care givers obtain and use marijuana for medical
purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.
C. To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan for the safe and
affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
(Proposition 215 Section 11362.5)

Of course, it goes on and breaks into fine detail into which I choose not to venture. To
summarize it all, if you're sick, or think you are, your doc can get you some pot. Just like that.
So what's so great about this? It supposedly brings relief to those with terminal illnesses.
(Such were listed in 215) Cancer sufferers who are inflicted with nausea due to chemotherapy have
reported that a puff or two of a marijuana cigarette relieves the pain. (Theorized after study by
psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School) It has also been reported to relieve the pain
suffered by AIDS patients. Despite all this great relief, one question remains unanswered, what about
the side effects? Exactly how harmful and addicting is this stuff?

MY SIDE: (the important stuff)
My personal opinion: Marijuana should remain illegal because of the enormous side effects and
addiction that results after using the drug. My first fact to back my opinion would have to be this,
marijuana is what it is, a drug! You can't change that no matter how many people vote on it. Sure,
there are prescription drugs on the market that are potentially dangerous but their effects are nothing
compared to that of marijuana. Such a comparison can be made between a knife and a gun, prescription
drugs being the knife and marijuana the gun. They are both potentially lethal and incredibly dangerous
but they have their differences. With a knife, you have to be careless enough to fall on it. With a
gun, all you have to be is stupid enough to mess with it.
Of course, others have their opinions and I respect that. Lester Grinspoon states "One of
marijuana's greatest advantages as a medicine is it's remarkable safety. It has little effect on major
physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose....Marijuana is also far less
addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and
analgesics." Although he seems to have nothing but good things to say about drugs, NIDA Director Alan
Leshner has this to say, "What we're saying is we don't know the answer to the long-term effects because
we haven't studied them." He doesn't seem to be feeling all the sunshine. What I'm trying to put across
is, nobody is sure what marijuana can cause, except for pulmonary impact. We know that it hurts the
lungs. Other than that, we haven't got much of a clue. It could bring about cancers or other fatal
diseases that science would just have to find another cure for. It's possible th!
at we're just creating more work for ourselves.
In a recent study performed by yours truly, I found that there aren't a whole lot of people in
favor of this new law. In fact, in a survey of 30 people, only one had anything positive to say about
it. Perhaps we're all just prejudice and aren't educated enough on the matter, or perhaps it because we
have been educated. Ever since I can remember, (Born May 29, 1981) those egg commercials have been on
television. You know, the one where the guy says, "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.
Any questions?" As stated earlier, marijuana is one of those drugs. There had to be some reason for
putting that